New York • U.S. stocks edged lower Thursday in morning trading after a report showed that retail sales rose less than forecast in May. A separate report showed that more Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. The price of oil surged amid renewed violence in Iraq.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 45 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,798 as of 11:14 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 was down five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,938. The Nasdaq slipped 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,319.
NEWS ON THE ECONOMY: U.S. retail sales rose for a fourth straight month in May, but the growth was slightly below economists' forecasts. The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.3 percent last month, helped by a surge in auto demand, but shy of the 0.4 percent increase that economists expected.